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Elmore Leonard starting point

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by friend of the friendless, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Sirs, Madames,

    I've never read an Elmore Leonard tome. Which is his best novel or, perhaps, the best novel to read first (i.e. the most accessible)?

    YHS, etc
  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Been a while since I read them, but my favorites were "Glitz" and "Freaky Deaky."
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Rum Punch is my favorite. Out of Sight is outstanding too. Get Shorty, Be Cool all great as well... I just got his new(ish) one.
  4. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    I'd say Get Shorty or Rum Punch (which was the basis for Tarantino's "Jackie Brown").
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest you start with his earlier, post Western novels. LaBrava won an Edgar.

    No on writes dialogue better than Elmore.

    I can't think of a bad book he's written.

    But best of all, he left us with his ten rules for writers


    My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

    If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

  6. Greenhorn

    Greenhorn Active Member


    I really liked Pronto. And it has a sequel, Riding the Rap. Cat Chaser was good too.
  7. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Maybe I read too many of his books one right after another. But the reason I stopped reading him is that especially on the dialogue, I could feel the writer at work. I liked the dialogue for a while, and then it got in my way.

    I liked Unknown Man No. 89 best. And you have to be pretty confident in your audience's loyalty to name a character Dick Speed.
  8. Raiders

    Raiders Guest

    Agreed on both points. I've read 'em all, and you might as well start with the early ones. They're all that good, and his way with dialog is unmatched. Leonard is so good with dialog that he often uses it as his main storytelling method in many places. He makes it look so easy, but it's not.
  9. Second Thoughts

    Second Thoughts Active Member

    Out of Sight is a good read.
  10. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    IMO, 52 Pickup is the best. But the odds of picking a bad one at random are long. Get Shorty is probably the easiest, funniest read.
  11. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Couple less popular but very good Elmore Leonard's: Tishomingo Blues and Killshot. He's also done a a few pretty good books set in Depression-era west whose names escape me. Hotshot Kid maybe??
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